Black and White

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Project by Bill posted 12-03-2012 04:04 PM 1621 views 1 time favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These two boxes are negatives of each other. They are made from Birdseye Maple and wenge. They are both 5×9x4.
This is the first I have used wenge, it is a little tough to finish. Any tips would be helpful. I used two coats of lacquer topped with three coats wipe on poly, sanded between the coats with 600 grit. Still less than perfect.

-- Putting the "mental" in experimental since 1973

21 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

18015 posts in 1382 days

#1 posted 12-03-2012 04:19 PM

Awesome boxes. Really nice work. Beautiful wood.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View DocSavage45's profile


6612 posts in 1886 days

#2 posted 12-03-2012 04:25 PM

If it were perfect it would lack creativity, and human touch. Thanks for your imperfect boxes!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Woodbridge's profile


3261 posts in 1462 days

#3 posted 12-03-2012 04:32 PM

beautiful boxes and a really interesting and attractive design.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View luv2learn's profile


2172 posts in 1346 days

#4 posted 12-03-2012 04:38 PM

The boxes are beautiful. You have a talent for unique design. Less than perfect? Perhaps, but most of us would say the same about any of our projects. Well done!

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Boxguy's profile


1813 posts in 1311 days

#5 posted 12-03-2012 04:43 PM

Bill, beautiful work. I especially like the grain in the arched wenge top. You are doing an outstanding job and I like your “signature” arc at the bottom.

Please, be especially careful of wenge sawdust. It can be toxic to your lungs and skin. If the wenge is oily, try wiping a very light coating of thinner on and letting it dry completely before you apply the finish. It also might be better to apply the poly on directly without the lacquer coat. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View a1Jim's profile


113738 posts in 2621 days

#6 posted 12-03-2012 04:52 PM

Very unique boxes ,outstanding design,great woods ,well done.

-- Custom furniture

View BTimmons's profile


2282 posts in 1529 days

#7 posted 12-03-2012 04:52 PM

I LOVE ‘em. As for finishing wenge, you say that your results are less than perfect but you don’t really specify what you’re going for. I used some wenge for an older project and was shooting for a very natural satin finish. To that end, I had good luck using a few coats of a homemade wiping mix. Equal parts satin poly, boiled linseed oil, and mineral spirits. The coats go on very thin and the result is a very natural, close to the wood finish.

On the other hand, if you’re going for a glossier look, you’d need to fill the pores, as wenge is a very open pored wood. The grain is very brittle and fibrous, almost like compressed straw.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Bill's profile


394 posts in 1193 days

#8 posted 12-03-2012 05:04 PM

Thanks for the tips. I was trying to get them glossy, but the lighter colored streaks in the wenge never stopped soaking up finish. I might still try more coats of poly, and see if that works.

-- Putting the "mental" in experimental since 1973

View HorizontalMike's profile


6975 posts in 1958 days

#9 posted 12-03-2012 05:38 PM

Wow! That Bird’s Eye is even better than the curly maple one you posted earlier. Great stuff!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View blackcherry's profile


3231 posts in 2867 days

#10 posted 12-03-2012 08:30 PM

Beautiful wood combo, I really like the B.E. lid one the best great work all around..BC

View majuvla's profile


5467 posts in 1911 days

#11 posted 12-03-2012 09:11 PM

Beautiful jing-jang combination.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Granddaddy1's profile


181 posts in 1245 days

#12 posted 12-03-2012 10:06 PM

I like the design and I like the wood. Very creative! The best luck I’ve had finishing wenge is to use paste wax only. Seems like that works better (at least for me). Good job!

-- Ron Wilson - maker of fine firewood!

View jap's profile


1243 posts in 1098 days

#13 posted 12-03-2012 10:30 PM


-- Joel

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 2026 days

#14 posted 12-03-2012 11:36 PM

cool looking boxes

View Marcos's profile


58 posts in 1414 days

#15 posted 12-04-2012 12:50 AM

These are great!

I love the birds-eye…it looks almost fluorescent.

Keep it up.

-- Marcos, California

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